Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving and Vittoria's Tree

(Mom's turn)- Another holiday has come and gone. Thanksgiving like every year was spent at the cabin with the whole Family. And once again, our hearts ached deeply for our daughter's physical presence, like every day for the past three and a half months. The cabin is one of Vittoria's favorite places, the mountains surrounding it are gorgeous and this time we even had some snow on the ground. This is THE place where all the cousins get together and play from morning until night, day after day. Vittoria loves her cousins, she would "disappear" on the "deep stairs" ( it's actually the playroom, but to get to it you have to go up some steep stairs), and she would show up just when it was time to eat, otherwise always on the go.

We miss her so much it hurts.

Christmas is Vittoria's favorite holiday. So when our friend Jeralyn came to Primary Children's to visit and asked us if she could dedicate a Christmas Tree to Vittoria at the Festival of Trees, all I could think was that by then, she would have recovered enough to go see it together. I could not wait to see her face.
So Jeralyn, her Mom, her sisters and her family graciously dedicated this tree to our beautiful daughter. The theme of the tree is "Jest" for Fun, and we think it reflects Vittoria's personality: always cracking jokes, goofing off and making funny faces, even at the hospital, after surgery. We have one tough little girl, very brave and strong.

So, on Tuesday night, Jeralyn, her Family and the three of us went to see it. As we were waiting to go in, I could feel my stomach in knots. I started tearing up even before seeing it. As we were walking among the hundreds of beautiful and very different trees, this couple leaving the Festival and walking towards us stopped. And I almost fainted. I don't easily forget faces, and ESPECIALLY the ones of nurses and doctors. Cory works in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Primary Children's and even though he did not care for Vittoria directly during the four weeks she was there, he would come by to say hi and see how she was doing. So, needless to say that with my stomach already in knots, at this point I was ready to throw up: the flashbacks of those weeks in PICU came like a freight train, I felt like all the memories, the emotions, the heartaches came crashing down on me. So, if anybody is wondering why I have a blotchy weird face on the picture, crying does that to me.
I decided to post it anyway, so that Family and Friends, near and far, can see that we have not curled up in a ball and let life go by, we try to go on with our life the best we can. Each day is a struggle, but we go on, we want Vittoria to be proud of us. We left the Festival feeling like Vittoria would have approved of her Tree, especially with the purple decorations and the elegant jesters.

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Jeralyn and her Family for thinking of our daughter and dedicating a Tree to her, for the hard work and the support for our family.

Thank you everyone for all you still do for us, for the prayers, love and support we feel every day. We could not do it without you.


  1. What a beautiful tree, so much like Vittoria. These are the hardest times following a loss--holidays. We love you guys so very much and know that you will be strengthened as you walk this difficult journey together.

  2. We went to the Festival last night looking for a different tree. When we spotted Vittoria's, my heart skipped a beat. What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful girl! Brian pointed out that not only did it capture a vivacious personality, but her Italian heritage as well. It was truely lovely.

  3. It was so neat to see Vittoria's tree while we were doing Festival this year. It was beautiful and seemed so perfect, especially with that gorgeous picture of Vittoria. We think about and continue to pray for you all the time. We love you!

  4. I did not know Vittoria personally but she is my cousin Joy's niece and I read about her on Joy's blog. I was so honored to be assigned to her tree for a little while as a hostess at the festival. I definitely felt her presence and it was one of the most special experiences of my life!